Britain's Compass, the world's biggest caterer, said yesterday that annual net profits were buoyed by a Brexit-hit pound. Profit after tax rose 17 percent to 1.2 billion pounds in the 12 months to the end of September, Compass said in a results statement.
The group's performance compared with a year earlier "benefitted ... from the translational effect of weaker sterling," it added. Revenues swelled 15 percent to 22.6 billion pounds thanks to the tumbling pound, which slumped in the wake of Britain's EU exit referendum in June 2016. Despite the upbeat results, Compass' share price sank 3.02 percent to 1.543 pounds on London's FTSE 100 index, which was up about 0.1 percent in morning trade.
"A lot of the good news, in terms of ... strong competitive positions, good management, healthy profit margins and track record of growing their dividends, is already in the price, at least in the short term," noted analyst Russ Mould at online stockbroker AJ Bell.
The company added that it had returned a total of 1.6 billion Compass to shareholders over the course of the financial year. Compass supplies contract catering services to offices, schools, hospitals and sports centers. The group has more than 500,000 employees, who serve some 5 billion meals per year in 50 countries.